Aphelion Issue 241, Volume 23
July 2019
 
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Puella Maris

by John M. Marshall


I have journeyed to a place I had never seen.
I have touched the shores of a distant dream
And beside its gleaming dunes found an enigma.
Reaching into the sunlit streams
I felt the pulse of wonder.
Breasting the spectra among the spangled waves
I embraced the heart of rapture;

For through the shimmering sea-foam
The face of a girl appeared,
Her skin the color of seaweed,
Her eyes like mother-of-pearl.
From the ocean's depths her body rose,
Springing from the crests like coral.
Her fingers were adorned with anemones,
And periwinkle hung from her ears.
In one hand she held a mirror
And in the other hand a comb.
Like the morning star the sea-lamb sparkled
As her hair fanned out like a palm.
She spread her arms like a swan's wings,
Encircling the sun above her.
Slowly she opened her mouth like a flower
And her song ascended like frankincense.

Her music was in rhythm with the cadence of the swells,
A misty harmony to the cries of the gulls.

"I am the link between man and the sea:
Flesh of the water; blood of the tree.
Heaven is my body, the earth my tail:
Spirit of the stars; soul of the whale.
I am the link between man and the sea:
Womb of the water; womb of the tree."

Returning to the combers from whence she came,
"The sea is your past; your future is the land.
Protect them both and guard nature's plan."

Then as three dolphins swam close to her side
She dove beneath the billows of the waning tide.


© 2012 John M. Marshall

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